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Icons of the Bible: Jeremiah The Weeping Prophet

Updated: Sep 3, 2023


Icons of the Bible: Jeremiah The Weeping Prophet
Icons of the Bible: Jeremiah The Weeping Prophet

Icons of the Bible

Jeremiah

Jeremiah's Background

"The great prophet Jeremiah lived during the most crucial period of Judah's existence as a kingdom. He saw the destruction of Jerusalem and the holy Temple, after he had incessantly warned his people to mend their ways before it was too late. And when the catastrophe finally overwhelmed his people, he was the one who bitterly lamented Israel's terrible fate in the Book of Echah (Lamentations) which we read on Tisha B'Av, the anniversary of that catastrophe. At the same time, he proved to be a true friend in need, by helping his stricken people to bear the blow with courage and dignity, and by pointing out to them the path that would lead to restoration and redemption.

Jeremiah was born of a priestly family, in the town of Anatoth in Benjamin. His father was the prophet and High-Priest Hilkiah. He began his prophecy during the time of the prophet Zephaniah and prophetess Huldah, in the thirteenth year of King Josiah's reign (3298).

The destruction of the Northern Kingdom by the Assyrians was still fresh in the memory of the people of Judah, and we can imagine in what a state of spiritual agitation they were living at that time. Under these conditions, Jeremiah began his prophecies.

Jeremiah the Prophet

One of his first missions was to go to the exiled ten tribes of Israel, to bring them courage and hope, and to induce many of them to return to their native land.

Jeremiah witnessed the fall of the Assyrian Empire and the death of King Josiah. Though the people deeply mourned the death of their beloved King Josiah, the chief mourner was the prophet Jeremiah, for he knew very well that with the untimely passing of this last pious king, the end of Judea as an independent state was unavoidable. Indeed, after Josiah's death the people soon reverted to idolatry. Jeremiah was shocked by the new relapse of his people and strove hard to stem the tide of spiritual depravity which was threatening to undermine their high moral standards.

Israel's Ingratitude.." from the article Jeremiah


Summary of the Book of Jeremiah

Author: Jeremiah chapter 1, verse 1 identifies the Prophet Jeremiah as the author of the Book of Jeremiah.

Date of Writing: The Book of Jeremiah was written between 630 and 580 B.C.


Purpose of Writing: The Book of Jeremiah records the final prophecies to Judah, warning of oncoming destruction if the nation does not repent. Jeremiah calls out for the nation to turn back to God. At the same time, Jeremiah recognizes the inevitability of Judah’s destruction due to its unrepentant idolatry and immorality.


Key Verses:


Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”


Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”


Jeremiah 29:10-11, “This is what the LORD says: ‘When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”


Jeremiah 52:12-13, “On the tenth day of the fifth month, in the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard, who served the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. He set fire to the temple of the LORD, the royal palace and all the houses of Jerusalem. Every important building he burned down.” from the article: Summary of the Book of Jeremiah


Why Study the Book of Jeremiah?

"Why Study Jeremiah?

On one level, the answer to the question "Why study Jeremiah?" is straightforward. On the day of his resurrection, Jesus appeared to his startled disciples as they hid from the authorities (Luke 24:36-49). In that appearance, Jesus reminded them of what he taught them before his death and resurrection: "Everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled" (Luke 24:44). Paul explained to the Romans that "whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope" (Rom. 15:4). So we should study Jeremiah because we want to know Christ better and see God deepen our endurance in the gospel so that our hope in God and his promises will grow.

So we should study Jeremiah because we want to know Christ better and see God deepen our endurance in the gospel so that our hope in God and his promises will grow.." from the article: Why Study the Book of Jeremiah?


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